One of the chief delights of the first season of Stranger Things was seeing Nancy's jock bully boyfriend, Steve, mature from your classic King-Of-The-School jerk to an actual hero. But with that change in character came a loss in the casting line up: There was no longer a school bully to fill that niche. So for Season 2, the Duffers wrote in a new "King of the School," California transplant Billy, with a determination not to let him grow nice this time. And sure enough, Dacre Montgomery's "Billy" audition tape for Stranger Things Season 2 showed he was guaranteed to stay the bad guy.
The character of Billy is a divisive one with fans who at this point have gotten used to characters growing more likable as the series goes on. Despite a twist late in the season that certainly explains Billy's abusive behavior towards his sister, and a turn showing up at the Byers' house during the climax of shutting down the Upside Down, much like the untimely arrival of Steve to that same house last season, Billy was denied character growth.
He's still against his sister dating Lucas for no reason we can surmise. And he's only staying in line in the epilogue because if he didn't, Max threatened to go full "dad" on his... lower half, shall we say?
But for all that, he's also hot (despite the mullet wig he's wearing.) And apparently that was a major consideration when Montgomery auditioned.
I just kind of wanted to make a bit of a splash with the Duffers, because I assumed they would be getting so many tapes.
So I got up, kinda went crazy, shaved all my hair off around my face except for my mustache, and then rang two friends who are still studying at the acting university that I went to here in Perth. I was like, Can you help read for me behind the camera tonight? Then during the day I made everything else happen—the dancing and the rest, going out in the G-string and just playing around with it, and putting it together on iMovie and doing all that sort of stuff. And then my two friends came around in the evening, and they had no idea.
Check out the entire thing below:
It wasn't just the Duffers who saw the video either. According to Dacre, the entire video was deemed so hilarious, it got passed around the offices at Netflix. he found out later it was even played at a big board meeting. (We assume to discuss the directions of characters for the new season?)
Montgomery says he doesn't regret it one bit. He says even if it hadn't worked, he'd do it again in a heartbeat.
I remember sending it to my representatives in the States, and they forwarded it on to Netflix and the casting director, and I was thinking: Either I'm never going to work again, or somebody somewhere is going to see one thing in me, and they'll give me a chance. But I'm glad it was done, and I stick by it. Like aside from the G-string, aside from the fun kind of gimmick that that is, I do care about it, and that's the way that audition tape was constructed. And I have done that for other projects since.
Wait, he's done other audition tapes like this one, for other projects? And these tapes are out there somewhere for us to watch? Clearly, there needs to be a "Dacre's Most Awesome Audition Tapes" channel on YouTube pronto. In fact, I think I might just have found something that would make me consider paying for YouTube Red.